Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By CNA Daily News - Europe (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Argentine priest who denounced drug traffickers found dead

Thursday, October 6, 2016 14:06
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, Oct 6, 2016 / 02:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A priest in the northern Argentine city of San Miguel de Tucumán who in recent days denounced drug traffickers in his homilies was found dead in his rectory on Wednesday.

The body of Father Juan Heraldo Viroche, 46, was found hanged Oct. 5 in his room at Our Lady of the Valley rectory. Police reported finding his belongings scattered on the floor.

The court has ordered an autopsy on the priest's body to establish the cause of death.

Hallaron muerto al sacerdote Juan Viroche (46) quien había denunciado el accionar de bandas de narcos en Tucumán

— DiarioJornadaChubut (@JornadaWeb) October 5, 2016 The parish faithful said that days before, the priest had expressed his concern over threats received because of his denunciations of the gangs engaged in selling drugs.

One of Fr. Viroche's actions was to say a Mass in November 2015 calling for a people free of drugs and thefts in Delfín Gallo, a rural settlement just 10 miles southeast of San Miguel de Tucumán.

Also, because of the repeated thefts in the last year, the priest decided to put a fence around the church and the blamed criminal activity on the growing drug trafficking which he said corrupts teens and young adults in the area.

The Archdiocese of Tucumán issued a statement lamenting Fr. Viroche's death and adding: “We expect prompt clarification of the facts and trust in the action of the justice system, with which of course we will be cooperating in everything that depends on us.”

The Tucumán archdiocese added that they join with the priest's family and the parish faithful in “their grief over the loss of their pastor” and commended Fr. Viroche “to the mercy of God, that the Lord may welcome him into heaven.”

Sustained threats against the priest by drug gangs led him to ask to be transferred, which had already been authorized. However, the priest wanted to finish the novena he had started in the community, Archbishop Alfredo Zecca of Tucumán said.

The Argentine bishops' conference also expressed their “sorrow and dismay over the death” of Fr. Viroche, and asked for a “prompt clarification of the facts.”

“We ask God to welcome into his home our brother, Fr. Juan, and may his life and ministry be for the Church a priestly witness that encourages everyone to continue to work for a more fraternal society in the service of the most vulnerable,” they said.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.